Kyrie Irving can’t legally purchase an alcoholic beverage in the United States until March 23rd of this year. Check.
He won the ROY award last season in near-unanimous fashion. Check.
Irving’s ball-handling puts And 1 Mix Tape wunderkind, The Professor, to shame. Check.
Kyrie Irving has one of the prettiest jumpers in the league and just won the NBA’s 3-point shooting contest (the only Saturday competition that people still seem to care about) during this past All-Star weekend. Check.
He was also in the actual All-Star game in just his second year. Check.
He dazzled in the Rookie-Sophomore game, abusing Brendan Knight enough, particularly on one cross-over you’ve already seen, that Brendon Knight might be forever scarred from participating in anything over an All-Star weekend ever again. Check.
Add all those check marks up and you’ve got the most fantastic, stupefying, physically gifted young basketball player in the world; someone who leaves professional basketball writers groveling to assign him the most favorable adjectives they can find as they tweet in a perpetual state of delirium at what they’re witnessing. You know, like Derrick Rose used to be, and hopefully will be again.
For players lucky enough to participate, All-Star weekend is a balanced mixture of relaxation, fun, self-promotion, and a valuable opportunity to collect lifelong memories. For Brandon Knight, that last part is most depressing. For Kyrie Iring, well, by the time his career’s all said and done it’ll be the most insignificant footnote.
This move is impressive on several levels. First he goes between the legs at full speed and makes Iman Shumpert—one of the more athletic perimeter defenders in the league—look like it’s 4 pm on St. Patty’s Day. Then, after entering the lane, he comes face to face with Defensive Player of the Year candidate, Tyson Chandler. This is where the magic happens. Irving does a pseudo-Jordan impersonation, switching the ball from his right hand to his left while contorting his body in mid-air and avoiding the seven-footer who could care less if he hits body instead of ball. If you’ve seen the 19-year-old Kyrie Irving play basketball this season, there’s a good chance you’re chalking him up as Rookie of the Year. If you haven’t, watch the clip and cast an imaginary vote.
In honor of it being Draft Week, I hope you’re ready for an unhealthy helping of crossovers delivered by guys doing them for no paycheck (unless they went to Ohio State). Starting in numerical order by projected draft status, Kyrie Irving’s college career lasted about four minutes, but just looking at these moves Cleveland has a no-brainer choice on its hands. Speaking of no-brainers, maybe Cory Joseph should go back to Texas.